I began to wonder why movies made about the wine industry are always so bad--not counting Sideways, of course. That was movie like a shaft of light from heaven itself. But I'm thinking of movies like A Good Year, which I also saw on a plane and in which Russell Crowe inherits a Provencal chateau and vineyard, complete with secretly good wine and a hot vineyard worker (Marion Cotillard). Seeing a pattern?
And then there's A Walk in the Clouds. Hot vineyard girl? Check. Secretly good wine? Well, no, but will you give me secret love? Keanu Reeves returns from World War II and decides to help a pregnant girl face her old world father during the grape harvest. Of course, Keanu falls for her and decides to defend her honor. Good Keanu. Oh, and he accidentally sets the vineyards on fire. Bad Keanu.
Perhaps it is the need to inject some romance into the story of wine that serves as the death knoll for these movies. Maybe that's why Sideways was so sneakily satisfying: instead of being about the romace between Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen, it was about the relationship between Paul and Thomas Haden Church. Take note, future wine industry movies: in order to make a good movie about wine, keep it strictly platonic.